My heart sank when I saw these words in my office book on Pentecost:
“The Easter Season ends with the conclusion of Evening Prayer.”
The sweet consolation of Easter, basking in the glory of the Resurrection, my patroness (my religious name was Sr. Magdala Marie) popping up all over the place: it was all over. Then I realized that Ordinary Time is ushered in by a series of solemnities to wean us off of desserts, Alleluias and perhaps even his felt presence.
With Pentecost, the fullness of the trinity was revealed, which we celebrate on Trinity Sunday. Then the next Sunday is Corpus Christi, when we celebrate the fact that Jesus remains present with us in the Eucharist. This tells us that ordinary time is a time of hiddeness, when we are called to listen attentively for the “still small voice” of the Lord. The Eucharist is what will carry us through ordinary time, which can be dry and seem dark at times – we wonder if Jesus left us when he ascended into heaven. But before Jesus ascended he told His apostles, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)
One of my favorite songs, “This is Jesus” by Jim Cowan, always reminds me of this truth.
“This is Jesus, Emmanuel. God is with us, in this Sacrament.”
He is truly with us in the ordinary times of life, waiting for us quietly, respecting our free will, and longing for us to come to Him time and time again.
Finally, we really end this period of feasting with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, when we celebrate Jesus’s love for us. Again, this reminds us of His constant and enduring presence with us. If we remain in His love He will come and make His home in our hearts.
The time of the Holy Spirit
Best of all Ordinary Time is the time of the Holy Spirit, which means it can never be boring! Ordinary Time is also the time for evangelization. After Pentecost, the Apostles were empowered to preach the good news to the whole world. We are called to do this in “ordinary” ways in our everyday life, in hidden ways, in ways that make known His merciful love.
I originally wrote this for A Reply to Love, but we didn’t get a chance to post it.